AFC Cup: 10-man Maziya downs Bagan

Despite fielding a majority of reserves in preference for a decisive I-League match barely two days away, Mohun Bagan controlled most of the action but failed to avail the opportunities coming its way.

Maziya saw its Serbian defender Milos Kovacevic ejected with the second booking in the 87th minute but the visitor held on to the slender lead with 10 men to ensure the first ‘away’ win of the group stage.   -  AIFF Media

A 10-man Maziya Sports and Recreation Club of Maldives edged past home favourite Mohun Bagan by a solitary goal to register its second win in a group-E league of the AFC Cup, here at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Wednesday. Mohamed Umair scored the only goal of the encounter late in the first half to ensure the full quota of points for the visitor, which rose to the second place in the current group standings with six points.

Despite fielding a majority of reserves in preference for a decisive I-League match barely two days away, Mohun Bagan controlled most of the action but failed to avail the opportunities coming its way. The host enjoyed a greater share both in ball possession and in the attack index but failed to translate the advantage in its favour as Maziya showed better application in finishing to find the lead in the 34th minute.

Maziya made the most of a fine counter-offensive just when Mohun Bagan looked to rest after a series of attacks that the visitor had defended resolutely. Mohamed Umair utilised a corridor in the Bagan box as the latter’s defence lowered its guard momentarily allowing the nippy Maziya attacker access into its territory. Umair covered a lot of ground before firing an angular grounder that made its way in past a diving K. Shibinraj in Mohun Bagan goal.

Maziya’s lead came against the run of play as Mohun Bagan earned two good scoring opportunities in the 14th and 32nd minutes which Balawant Singh failed to convert. Coming in pace of the Scottish striker Darryl Duffy, who was rested by Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen, Balwant was found wanting in the finishing act. His first attempt came off the crosspiece while in the second opportunity the Mohun Bagan striker delayed his effort allowing the Maziya defence to come in for cover.

Mohun Bagan introduced the only foreigner in the squad, Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa, late in the 73rd minute but that did not help in changing the scoreline. Maziya saw its Serbian defender Milos Kovacevic ejected with the second booking in the 87th minute but the visitor held on to the slender lead with 10 men to ensure the first ‘away’ win of the group stage.

The result: Mohun Bagan 0 lost to Maziya S&RC 1 (Mohamed Umair 34).

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